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Ways of seeing transgender in independent Chinese cinema

Bao, Hongwei



This article examines the history of representing transgender people in independent films produced in mainland China from the 1990s to present. Tracing a brief history of the transgender representation on Chinese screen, this article illustrates the multiplicity and porousness of transgender cinematic representations in postsocialist China. It identifies five ways of representing trans people on Chinese screen, roughly corresponding to five historical periods and modes of representation. These diverse representations result from a contingent assemblage of factors including the film genre, the filmmaker's subjectivity, the relationship between the filmmaker and the filmed subjects, the discourses in which the representations are situated, and the development of the trans subjectivities and communities. Recognising the crucial role of films in identity construction and community formation, this article contends that these 'trans' films construct the Chinese transgender subject as contingent,


Bao, H. (2022). Ways of seeing transgender in independent Chinese cinema. Feminist Media Studies, 22(5), 1278-1281.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 8, 2022
Online Publication Date May 17, 2022
Publication Date May 17, 2022
Deposit Date May 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 18, 2023
Journal Feminist Media Studies
Print ISSN 1468-0777
Electronic ISSN 1471-5902
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 5
Pages 1278-1281
Keywords Visual Arts and Performing Arts; Communication; Gender Studies
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Media Studies on 17 May 2022, available at: